Pioneer Theatre Guild Proudly Presents The “Pure Imagination” Of Willy Wonka

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It’s the magical and sometimes dark story that we all know and love from the brilliant scrumdiddlyumptious mind of Roald Dahl, springing to life on the Pioneer High School stage! Dahl’s Willy Wonka follows a group of unique (and mostly privileged) characters touring the magical chocolate factory headed by the offbeat yet otherworldly Willy Wonka.

This classic 1964 book-turned-hit-movie starring Gene Wilder introduced many iconic songs to the world, including I’ve Got a Golden Ticket , The Candy Man and Pure Imagination. The story centers around the optimistic Charlie Bucket and his family, who are so poor that they eat cabbage soup for every meal, but dream of the delicious candy being made in the mysteriously closed off factory next to them owned by the even more mysterious world-class candy maker Willy Wonka.

Wonka announces that he has put a golden tickets in five random Wonka chocolate bars. Those who find them will be the first people ever allowed inside his chocolate factory. A worldwide frenzied search for these golden tickets gets WILLY WONKA off to a thrilling start.

The production is being directed by Megumi Nakamura, a senior in the Musical Theatre Department at the University of Michigan.

Nakamura is determined to keep the over 50 year old story crisp and make it relevant to the world we live in today.

‘WILLY WONKA’s creative team is dedicated to using PTG’s amazing talent and resources to build a production that could only be done with this group of artists at this point in time,” she says. “With fresh interpretations on the characters and their relationships, PTG’s WILLY WONKA will remind audiences of the story they know and love, while presenting some fresh and inventive perspective that allows the material to take on new and surprising depth.”

In the vein of finding a new perspective, PTG’s production features two female actors in the main roles of Charlie Bucket (Bridget Roberts) and Willy Wonka (Mia Galbraith). The creative team felt strongly that the characters were not defined by their gender, but by how they are as human beings.

“Playing Willy Wonka is really a dream come true,” Galbraith says. “When the show was announced I immediately knew I would gun for this role that is so structured, yet so free. There is nothing more fun than being able to create a whole person from words on a page.”

by Special to Discover Communities
Originally published 10/8/18.